Tuesday was the second and last day of aikido demonstrations at the World Combat Games in St. Petersburg. In an escalating level of complexity, it ended with demonstrations of the three Shihan teachers Ulf Evenås, Christian Tissier and Tsuruzo Miyamoto.
The four hours of aikido demonstrations at the Peterburgsky arena were divided into two two blocks separated by a two hour break. They displayed the great variety of techniques, tempos and training forms, as the groups performed their designated tasks.
All three levels of training were demonstrated – suwariwaza where both sit, hanmi handachiwaza with seated defense against a standing attacker, and tachiwaza where both stand. So were the basic tempos – gotai, from static positions, jutai when the aikido technique begins before the attack is fully completed, and kinagare when both move continuously.
The demonstrations also showed examples of everything from one attacker to several. The traditional weapons were explored by several of the demonstration groups: ken the sword, jo the staff, and tanto the knife. Unarmed defense against these weapons, as well as techniques with ken against ken, or jo against jo, were demonstrated.
The final part of the day, the three Shihan teachers had their demonstrations.
Ulf Evenås Shihan from Sweden started with the very fundamental aikido exercise tai-no-henko, where the energies of both participants is blended. From there he moved to exercises showing the principles of the sword and staff in aikido and how movements with those weapons relate to aikido techniques. At the end he increased speed considerably, showing full-power applications of the techniques.
Christian Tissier Shihan also started from the very basic steps in aikido, showing how they set character to the meeting between the two participants and lead into aikido techniques of lower to higher complexity of movement. He also displayed the great difference between slow training and the same movements in very rapid execution.
Tsuruzo Miyamoto Shihan also showed how basic movements lead to advanced ones, and the importance of attitude and entrance, irimi, in aikido. He went on to show variations on the basic throws and pinning techniques in a continuous manner of training. When showing defense techniques against sword attacks, he used a tanto, knife, to clarify the relation between the two practitioners in the dynamics all through each aikido technique.
After the completion of the demonstration program, each participant received an award from the IAF Chairman Peter Goldsbury and the Russian Aikido President Sergey Kirienko.
The night will be spent at a much deserved sayonara party for all participants.
Text by Stefan Stenudd